Last year Clemson came very close to landing DL Rashan Gary of Paramus, NJ Catholic High School. Regarded by some as the top prospect in the 2016 class, Gary looked hard at Clemson and visited a couple of times before ultimately signing with Michigan where one of his former coaches is on staff.
This time around the Tigers are actively recruiting a pair of defensive stalwarts from PCH in LB Drew Singleton (6-2 215) and DL Corey Bolds (6-3 260). Both were at the spring game Saturday and both are giving Clemson strong consideration.
“They really enjoyed themselves and I can tell you both think very highly of Clemson, as did Rashan,” said Paramus Catholic coach Dan Sabella. “I can tell you that had Rashan not had the Michigan relationship, if it wasn’t Michigan it was going to be Clemson. Those two guys, I think they have similar feelings. I know Corey has some family down that way. I know Rashan did. Drew has always been a Clemson fans and he’s always felt a bond with the school and the program. They really enjoyed themselves. I spoke with both of them.”
Both players had been to Clemson previously and have had the Tigers way up on their respective lists. And the spring game visit further enforced how they feel about the program.
“Obviously Clemson’s got so much talent coming back and such a buzz going into this upcoming year they definitely felt the energy and excitement,” Sabella said. “Coach Venables and Coach Swinney were up here a lot the past nine months recruiting Rashan. The relationships are there. They liked what they saw. They liked the whole environment. They are going to have some tough decisions to make down the road.”
The two players are very close but it’s not 100 percent they will play together in college. They have also visited Michigan and Rutgers and are going to Boston College next week. Singleton also has visited Notre Dame. The coach said there’s a strong possibility the players will make decisions, if not before the season then no later than the holidays.
Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh will gain some major exposure in front of Singleton and Boyd at the school in June when he speaks at graduation. The competing schools are not going to like that but Sabella said they couldn’t pass on that opportunity.
“I’m the head coach so I’m looking for any exposure we can get to help our program,” he said. “The recruiting continues to evolve and relationships are important. I don’t know if it’s going to play a huge factor in their decisions but obviously Michigan as well as Clemson, we’ve been building relationships with these schools and that’s a credit to the players we’ve been producing. With Michigan, the kid Peppers is a PC kid so the relationship has probably been around a little bit longer, know what I mean?”
The players have not identified favorites at this point but these are widely viewed as recruiting battles that will boil down to the Tigers and Wolverines.